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Dave Ramsey: Contentment is a state of being

Wealth is for quality of life, and quality of life includes giving. It also includes a safe and stable future. But if you have to surrender the joy in life to do that — that’s wrong.
Oklahoman Published: July 7, 2014
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DEAR DAVE: My husband has a great job, and I love my work and schedule as a substitute teacher. However, he wants me to take a full-time position so we can build more wealth. The only debt we have is our house, and we’ve already saved and invested a lot of money. What’s your suggestion for this situation?

— MarieDEAR MARIE: First and foremost, you two have a responsibility to take care of each other and your own household. It sounds like you’re doing that pretty well. So, if he wants you to take a full-time job only to build more wealth, I think that’s a bad idea.

Wealth is for quality of life, and quality of life includes giving. It also includes a safe and stable future. But if you have to surrender the joy in life to do that — to build extra wealth or build at a different pace — well, to me that’s just wrong.

Contentment has nothing to do with how many hours you work or how many zeroes are in your bank account. Contentment has to do with your state of being. It’s connected to your sense of gratitude, happiness and your priorities. The idea that contentment is on the same spectrum as ambition? No, it’s not.

I don’t think you should take on a job or a schedule you hate just to pay off your house a couple of years earlier. I wouldn’t do that, and I don’t recommend you do it either.

People should do something with their lives they find enjoyable and they’re called to do. Now, if your kids are going hungry and your bills aren’t getting paid, then you do whatever it takes. But in this case, Marie, you’re happy and you guys are in a great place. I’m sure your husband is a great guy, but I think he’s wrong on this one.

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